She Leads, You Follow: State Dinner Edition

While most first families navigate public appearances and state dinners in style, the Obamas always seem to be the best dressed at any event they attend — and there was no exception at the U.S.-Canada State Dinner that took place last week on Thursday, March 10.

According to InStyle, First Lady Michelle Obama wore an indigo gown by Canadian designer Jason Wu. Featuring a mustard and cayenne red floral print, the strapless gown was cut in a figure-flattering A-line silhouette with a band at the natural waist and pleating at the bust. Mrs. Obama completed her regal look with sultry loose waves, natural makeup and minimal jewelry.

Style definitely runs in the family, as Sasha and Malia Obama attended the dinner in their own eye-catching ensembles. Both sisters settled on Naeem Khan gowns, according to Teen Vogue, with Malia opting for a cream A-line number with gold beading strewn about the bodice and skirt, while Sasha chose a high-neck lace number which she accented with a skinny leather collar necklace.

Although the First Family is dressed for the most posh of events, there are certain things we can learn from their looks to apply to the way we dress every day:

  1. Go bold – All three gowns worn by the women of the Obama family involved a print in some form or another; while Malia’s gown offered a demi-polka dot print with its patterned beading from bodice to hem, Sasha’s gown featured a bold lace overlay. Mrs. Obama’s gown, however, was done in a colorful floral print. While each pattern varies in its size, shape and color, they are bold in their own ways and add visual interest to their looks. The beading of Malia’s gown is a good alternative to an actual print, delivering both shine and texture to the look without a deliberate print. Sasha’s lace gown also offers a bold print from traditional lace, doing so with its burgundy, white and black coloring. Mrs. Obama’s gown renews a classic floral motif with its bright colors over a dark, textured background. When shopping for printed pieces, take the Obamas’ lead and look for twists on something traditional, like a beaded pattern or a rejuvenated floral.
  2. Go with grace – The thing that always makes their outfits is their grace, poise and confidence; the Obamas show that, no matter what you wear, confidence is what makes the outfit. So whether you are attending a state dinner, attending a wedding, heading out to a bar with your friends or just grocery shopping on a Sunday morning, be sure to carry yourself with confidence — confidence in not only your outfit, but most importantly in yourself.


She Leads, You Follow: Oscars After Party Edition

After a night of stunning red carpet looks for the 88th annual Academy Awards, the after parties brought on a host of other high fashion ensembles that may have topped those from the awards.

Trading in her Dior Haute Couture ceremony gown for an Alexander Wang number, Jennifer Lawrence attended the after parties in a custom two-piece gown featuring a bustier top with barbell piercing and a black skirt with the same details stitching together a thigh-high slit, says InStyle. The Joy actress topped off her look with Anita Ko jewelry, an Alexander Wang bucket bag and metallic sandals.

Rachel McAdams headed out for a celebratory night in a light pink Naeem Khan number with head-to-toe beading, according to InStyle. The sexy look came courtesy of a deep V-neckline and a thigh-high slit, in addition to her platform silver heels.

Lady Gaga gave an alternative look, wearing an ultra-chic jumpsuit that was a custom creation by Brandon Maxwell, says ELLE. Featuring a peplum and a demi-skirted bottom, the “Til It Happens to You” singer completed her look with diamond earrings and an old Hollywood glam hairstyle.

Following suit in another custom ensemble was Mindy Kaling, who worked the after-party circuit in a tailor-made Salvador Perez number says ELLE. The quasi-tuxedo style gown featured an asymmetrical satin lapel with beading on the other side of the bodice. The Mindy Project star showed some skin in a deep V-neckline and side slit that grazed the top of her thigh.

Elizabeth Banks attended the after parties in a Ralph & Russo gown with a semi-sheer lace  beaded bodice, from which a dramatic cape flowed from her shoulders to the hemline of the gown, according to ELLE. Banks completed her regal look with a small frame clutch and an upswept hairdo.

Although these ladies are dressed to party the night away after the film industry’s most important celebration, there is one very important thing we can learn from their looks to apply to the way we dress every day:

While fit, V-necklines and embellishments can all combine to create fashionable looks, confidence is the most important thing you can ‘wear’ with any outfit. If you are confident in who you are, you will feel confident in what you’re wearing; this will shine through, allowing beautiful you to be the star of your look while your fashionable outfit will play a supporting role. Looking great on the outside is great, but knowing you’re great on the inside is worth so much more.


She Leads, You Follow: GRAMMYs Edition

The Staples Center in Los Angeles came alive on Monday, Feb. 15 when music’s best and brightest were honored at the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards. As much as the awards paid homage to the most popular artists of yesterday and today, the awards were as much about the fashion as it was about the music.

Accompanying husband John Legend was model and soon-to-be mom Chrissy Teigen, who worked the red carpet in a stunning gown by Yousef Al-Jasmi, according to E!Online. Featuring a sparkly sheer cape and back slit, Teigen finished off her white curve-hugging gown with a sleek high ponytail, a frame clutch and diamond jewelry.

On-air correspondent for E! News Zuri Hall took her turn on the red carpet in a black sparkly fit and flare gown. With a sheer mesh bodice and black beading over a nude underlay, Hall’s gown was equal parts sexy and elegant.

Kaley Cuoco opted for a beaded jumpsuit to present one of the prestigious awards. Wearing what E!Online says Naeem Khan number, Cuoco’s cutout jumpsuit delivered streams of beading over a white background, seemingly encrusting her in crystals. The actress completed her look with tousled locks and a neutral minaudière.

Although these ladies are dressed for music’s night to rock, there are certain things we can take away from their looks to apply to the way we dress every day:

  1. Try something new – While the thought of having a cape attached to your outfit may sound a bit strange, Teigen showed us that taking a risk in our fashion can pay off. Whatever style or trend you find intriguing, you should definitely find the courage to try it; just make sure that if it’s a trend (like capes or fringe, for example), you can see it not only mixing into the current pieces into your wardrobe, but also wearing it more than just once. After all, you wouldn’t want to invest in something that you wear only once. But if you can see the piece seamlessly integrating into your wardrobe and being a piece that you’ll wear season after season, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take a risk!
  2. Details, details, details – Both Hall and Cuoco wore beaded ensembles, but they weren’t merely covered in sequins from head to toe. Instead, both garments arranged the beading in such a way that creates shape on their bodies. For example, the beading at the hip of Hall’s gown curves to accentuate her hips, while the beading at the bodice of Cuoco’s jumpsuit features a quasi-chevron pattern to emphasize her bust. The long, straight lines of the beading on the legs of Cuoco’s jumpsuit also work to make her legs look that much longer and leaner. Details like these are not just pretty, but also quite functional. So when you are shopping for anything from a dress to a skirt to a blouse, look for things such as seams and darts that will draw attention to areas that you’d want to accentuate or detract from areas that you are self-conscious about. Just remember: clothing should work for you — you shouldn’t have to change for the clothing.